For me not putting photos in a survey report is the biggest mistake a Surveyor can make. We live in a visual age where almost everyone has a high quality digital camera in their pockets and a Surveyors report needs to reflect this.
Every report I send out, be it a Building Survey, Home Buyers Survey includes photos, usually between 40 and 70. These are included in the relevant section of the survey report and not just stuck in an appendix at the end. No body wants to read about something and then turn (or in this age of pdfs, scroll) to the end to see a picture, only to have to turn back to read the next bit.
Does that mean we just dump in loads a photos because it looks good in the report? To me a photo should only go in a survey report if adds value. Is it useful to the client? Does it help them understand a problem the surveyor has found? Will it help them to make an informed choice about their new home? Will it help them move ahead confidently with their purchase? A photo of one air brick might help them understand the sub-floor ventilation, separate photos of all seven found at the property is overkill.
It is also important to make sure the photos are annotated correctly.
Annotation is easy to do with simple programs that often come preinstalled on most computers and there is almost no excuse for not doing it. Even something as basic as putting a circle around the relevant feature on a photo can help a client understand what the Surveyor is trying to convey. It is also great to show longer shots and circle where a defect has been found. You could spend 10 or 20 words explaining which window has failed sealant or you could just show a picture of the front of the house with a square round the relevant window.
Annotation is also great when you are looking at a movement issue. The simplest way to show where the movement may be occuring and the direction it is going is with a photo and a couple of arrows.
To book a Building Survey or Home Buyers Survey including plenty of helpful photos please contact us.